Now that summer is over, many of us have fond memories of a few months splashing around in the pool with family and friends. It’s also an opportunity to reflect on the potential for danger, as a new federal report claims that at least 163 children drowned while swimming in pools or spas in just the last few months.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission, along with the USA Swimming Foundation, announced today that at least 163 children under the age of 15 drowned in pools and spas from Memorial Day to Labor Day this year.
Of those deaths, which were compiled through media reports, 112 involved children under the age of five.
Florida recorded the highest number of drownings this summer with 25, while Texas and California had 14 each and Arizona had 10.
While these incidents are tragic, the rate of drownings decreased over the past year, the agency notes.
During the same time in 2016, there were 205 reported drowning deaths involving children under the age of 15. Of those incidents, 140 involved children under the age of five.
“Each one of these deaths is a tragedy, which serves as a sobering reminder of how dangerous water can be for young children,” said acting CPSC Chair Ann Marie Buerkle.
Although summer is quickly coming to an end, and time in pools is running out, the CPSC reminds consumers to take steps to protect children and others around water.
For instance, the CPSC’s Pool Safely campaign encourages consumers to install four-sided fences around pools and spas; teach their children to swim; learn CPR; and ensure pool or spa drains are covered and comply with federal safety standards.